Carl and I helped Rick limp down the residential street. We have been walking since early morning, because the Governor attacked so late in the day it didn’t give us much time to make it out of the forest. So the three of us sat huddled up against a tree, depressed, and scared. Although it was tough, we made it through.
We found a town and we are hoping to find an available house for Rick to rest in. He isn’t doing so well. I think his gunshot wound is infected, he needs some antibiotics or else he just might die.
We come across a small shop, but Rick keeps walking. I eye it down, knowing we need to supplies. We have practically nothing besides the few cans I still had in my pack. We are thirsty, starving, and weak, we need shelter. Rick follows my gaze, “Let’s stop. You guys can check out the shop. I’ll keep guard outside.”
Rick really shouldn’t be left alone, “Rick, are you sure?” We stop and stand there for a moment while I wait for his response.
He looks at me with his swollen eyes and blood crusted face, “I’m sure Annabel.” I nod at him and began to walk into the old small town grocery store. The sign reads mini mart in big red fading letters. The white paint has turned brown and weeds around it have taken control. “We won’t be long.” I say to Rick.
Carl enters the shop, but before I can reach the door handle Rick grabs my wrist stopping me altogether. “No guns okay? Keep an eye on Carl.”
I tilt my head at Rick, trying not to focus in on his poor face. All I want to do is take it and clean it. I flash an insignificant smile. “I promise Rick. I will.” He holds onto my wrist for an instant before letting me go.
Carl is already in the store combing over the empty shelves. There mustn’t have been any walkers in here, because Carl clearly has his guard down. “Anything good?” I ask picking up a can of green beans and tossing it in my bag.
He shakes his head, “Not really. Just some corn.” I nod my head wishing for more. I crouch down looking at the lower levels of the shelves.
My eyes tinkle dimly as I find more cans. “Re-fried beans and some mushrooms!” I call out to Carl while packing more cans in my bags.
“You know what I want?” I ask as I swing my bag over my aching, sunburned shoulder.
Carl pops up over the shelving, startling me a little. “What do you want?” He leans on the shelf waiting for my answer.
I lean in closer as if I am going to tell him a secret, but a sarcastic grin originates upon my face. I lick my lips and raise my eyebrows. “I want a quarter pounder with cheese and mustard.”
Carl’s face scrunches up, “Mustard?” You laugh a little as you hand him your bag so he can put his cans in.
Carl laughs a little himself, “How about some onion rings.” I stick out my tongue in disgust.
“Ewe. I didn’t take you for the onion type.” I say zipping up my bag once again. Carl’s smile stays on his face, which makes me smile also.
Carl chuckles again, “Type? Now I’m a type? What about you weird onion people?” We began cracking up, in my opinion it feels good. Carl laughs right alongside me, when abruptly his smile turns in to a frown and his laugh turns into silence.
He shakes his head, “It’s not the time for laughing, I will be outside.” He says as he walks towards the entrance furiously.
“I’m going to check another aisle.” I call out to him. Carl continues walking forward. “Do whatever you want.” The bell above the door rings as he exits. I know what he is feeling, I’ve been there, done that, but embracing happiness is the only way to feel better.
I sigh and walk to the back isle of the store. I notice there are a few more cans. Chicken noodle soup catches my eye, my mother use to cook the best homemade chicken noodle soup ever. Plus soup is great survival food.
I reach for the can with a smile on my face. To my surprise right next to the can is a gun. Usually there aren’t many guns just lying around. My heart rate quickens as I hear the soft breathing of another person. I reach for the gun as quick as I can but the man stops me. “I wouldn’t do that missy.” A manly voice booms behind me tightening his grip on my arm. I feel a gun press into my back.
I slowly turn around and raise my hands in the air. A tall man emerges from the darkness. His brown hair goes past his eyebrows and his tattered clothes rest loosely on his skinny body. “Look man, I don’t want any trouble. I’m just stopping at the grocery store for some food. “I say my voice quivering.
He shakes his head and laughs maniacally, he’s a crazy one. He keeps his gun pointed at my stomach, “This ain’t no grocery store anymore.”
I keep my hands held high and look around the place for an escape route. “I’ll give the cans back. No problem right?” I reach for my bag but he moves the gun closer to me.
He licks his lips, “That’s not what I want.” I start breathing heavily, this can’t be happening.
“I’m just going to be on my way..” I say as I try stepping away.
“Don’t you dare take another step.” He waves the gun at me. I fear that if I shout for Rick he’ll shoot me on the spot, but if I don’t shout I think it’ll be too late.
Before I have another second to think the man is forcing me up against the wall. He presses his lips against mine making me want to vomit. I push him off me and punch him in the eye. That doesn’t go over very well. He takes the gun and pistol whips me. I fall to the ground clutching my now bleeding eyebrow.
He gets on top of me holding me down with full force. My small body is no match for his. I try to wriggle out, but there’s no use. He somehow manages to pull my shirt over my head and begins unbuttoning my shorts. “No, no. Please don’t.” I plead practically screaming.
He slaps me, “Shut up!”
I began to cry hysterically, this just can’t be happening. It can’t. I am just so helpless; I can’t do anything about it. He manages to get my shorts down to my knees and get his pants off. I cry harder in fear.
A gunshot rings out and the man falls to the ground beside me. I look to the side to see Rick with his gun raised. I get up; half dressed and run into Rick’s arms.
I hold him tight as I cry into his chest, “R-R- Rick. He-he was going to-.” I stop, beginning to cry louder. He puts one arm around me and the other on my head as he strokes my hair.
“It’s gonna’ be okay. We gotta’ move, walkers will be here soon.” Rick pulls away and I nod to him. I try to calm down as I wipe my face. I put on the rest of my clothes and meet Rick outside, still shaking from the whole experience.
I walk ahead of the two men, leading the way to the houses. I hear Rick limp up behind me as he places a hand on the small of my back. He asks, “How you doing?”
I pull away from him not wanting to be in the presence of men, “Just peachy.” I say flipping my hair and quickening my speed.